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Going ape at Paignton Zoo with Balfour Beatty

Thanks to Balfour Beatty, Paignton Zoo’s great apes have two new climbing structures to enjoy. Volunteers from the Western Rail team offered two days of their time to making a difference at Paignton Zoo, part of Wild Planet Trust, as part of the social value activities promoted by Balfour Beatty.

Twenty-seven staff members gave their time to help with this project, building new climbing frames for Paignton Zoo’s orang-utans and gorillas, which will be a source of engagement and enrichment for years to come. Along with their time, they also donated materials and helped to bring this exciting project to life for Wild Planet Trust, a conservation and education charity that aims to help halt species decline.

A representative from Balfour Beatty quoted “Due to the important international conservation work Paignton Zoo undertakes and following the detrimental effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on tourist attractions, we saw this as an opportunity to help an important function in society.”

“Overall [this was] a fantastic opportunity to showcase the skills and passion of the teams we have working for us at Balfour Beatty and to help an important conservation organisation using our social value initiatives.”

After two days of building the structures, Balfour Beatty stood alongside Wild Planet Trust employees and members of the public to witness the apes investigating their new play equipment for the first time. The orang-utans were initially shy, however the gorillas quickly inspected the changes.

Samantha Croxall, Business Support Manager at Wild Planet Trust, said “Balfour Beatty’s help with this project was gratefully received. We love providing new activities for our animals, and it has been amazing to watch our orang-utans and gorillas enjoy their new equipment, which is all down to the work of volunteers. We cannot thank them enough!”